Music.Used attributively in Special Combinations, as penny-whistle music, penny-whistle group, etc.,designating kwela music (in which this small metal flageolet features prominently), or the musicians who play it; kwela sense 2.
The penny-whistle was popular among working-class township residents from the early nineteen-hundreds, initially because of its low cost. Over the years, in using it to play music of various styles, township musicians developed innovative techniques which extended its capabilities from both a musical and an expressive point of view. Their virtuosity on the instrument was one of the central features of kwela music.
1951Drum Mar. 14My feet just wouldn’t stop beating out that Boogie-tempo of Cele’s Penny Whistle phrasing.
1958Star 3 Feb.Lemmy the 12-year-old leader of a penny whistle group, performs on a Johannesburg pavement.
1958Time 16 June 37The haunting sound of penny-whistle jazz has become the favorite music of South Africa’s slum-caged blacks — and of a great many white hipsters.
1960C. HooperBrief Authority 66Boys..would climb the mulberry trees, turn the hose on the delighted dog, kick a tennis ball about, teach each other penny whistle tunes.
1963B. ModisaneBlame Me on Hist. (1986) 117My life is like the penny whistle music spinning on eternally with the same repetitive persistency.
1963B. ModisaneBlame Me on Hist. (1986) 173White opinion..had..become concerned over the spectacle of white teenagers following black penny-whistle troupes to the zoo lake.
1980E. PatelThey Came at DawnThe penny whistle melodies and the rhythm of cataclysmic change whisper into grass huts, rickety shanties, brick and mortar houses, granite prisons.
1983J. De RidderSad Laughter Mem. 63There were five boys moving in slow circles, jiving in the dust in front of a penny-whistle player.
1984Sunday Times 1 Apr. (Mag. Sect.) 35The number is a sharp up-tempo electro-pennywhistle-jive ballad.
1988New Nation 25 Feb. 11The development of kwela music during the mid-40s..influenced him the most. It was just after this period that people started classifying any music with township rhythms as kwela, without realising that it referred specifically to penny whistle music.
1990New African 11 June 13Combine Marabi music and the penny-whistle music of the black slums of South Africa, and you’ll find the origins of kwela music — regarded as an authentic expression of black urban culture in South Africa...Kwela was..transformed by many musically literate jazz players who had performed marabi on penny-whistle as youngsters. They readily adapted to the new style, replacing the penny-whistle — regarded as a child’s instrument — with the saxophone and creating jazz-kwela.
1991P. Alexander inWeekly Mail 28 Mar. 27Mango Groove..is a curious hybrid.., leaning heavily on the penny whistle and kwela themes of the Fifties.
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